Denton County’s seventh death related to COVID-19, announced Sunday, is a male resident of a Lewisville nursing facility in his 90s who contracted the virus through local transmission, county officials reported.
“As we report the loss of a seventh life to COVID-19 in Denton County today, we hope everyone will take a moment to keep our fellow residents affected by this pandemic in your thoughts and prayers,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said. “The seriousness of taking precautions cannot be overstated. With community spread endemic in our county, we must take the necessary steps to ensure we do not contribute to the problem.”
On Friday, the first publicly identified case and death emanating from a nursing home was confirmed out of a facility in Lewisville. The second confirmed death Sunday is the second publicly identified case emanating from a nursing home in Denton County. While a facility was not provided, county officials confirmed that the cases emanated from separate facilities.
Matt Richardson, director of Denton County Public Health, said that additional nursing home-related cases are anticipated.
“One of the natures of this pandemic is that the coronavirus preselects people with underlying health conditions and those over the age of 65,” Richardson said. “It follows reason that we are going to see fatality rates in those cohorts of individuals in our communities and obviously, with long term care facilities, assisted living facilities, I think we will see [an increase].”
An additional 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed Sunday, increasing the countywide total to 304 confirmed cases, while a total of 69 individuals have recovered. As well, eight new staff members at Denton State Supported Living Center are confirmed to have contracted the virus, increasing the total number of those infected at the facility to 89.
A total of 50 residents and 39 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, according to public health. Only two cases are reflected in countywide case totals, however, as six of the staff members who tested positive reside outside of the county.
Richardson says that nearly every resident at the state living center has been tested as of Sunday, with exception of a few who were not physically available for testing. As staff member testing increases, he says that additional cases are expected.
“We are not seeing an explosion of new cases and the percentages do seem to be decreasing with every cohort, which is good news,” he said. “But it is important to note that with additional cases at the [DSSLC], we don’t know whether staff members were exposed at the living center or in the community.”
A total of 235 individuals are in home isolation, while 67 individuals have been hospitalized and a total of two cases are pending investigation. Meanwhile, about 53% of all cases are concentrated in people ages 50 and older, as of Sunday.
COVID-19 symptoms include a fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath.
Public health officials are urging individuals to call ahead before arriving at an emergency room or doctor’s office to limit community spread of the virus.